History of computers and technology in Trinidad

It is late Christmas night and my brain is buzzing. I am thinking back to the early days of computers and technology in Trinidad. In trying to locate this history online I am coming to think that this is just not available and this makes me sad. I am creating this blog post as a starting point. The idea is that persons searching for this history might also find this blog post and leave in the comments what bits of local tech history they have.

I will get the ball rolling by sharing this story of the first Computer Operator at UWI - https://sta.uwi.edu/uwiToday/archive/april_2010/article9.asp. According to the article, ""Long ago students had a hell of a task," he says. They "would have to key punch (their) own work and it would have to be done in a language, FORTRAN or COBOL or RPG, to actually get the output…nowadays you use the software, which is the programme already built, and you just put in your data, so in those days you had to actually be a programmer to get anything done."

I asked my friend ChatGPT what was the first computer in Trinidad and he replied, "The first computer in Trinidad was likely installed at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in the 1960s. The exact details may vary, but academic institutions often played a key role in introducing computing technology to new regions during that era." Some other questions we can ask as it relates to this history are: What were the key milestones in the adoption of computers and technology in Trinidad? Which institutions played a pioneering role? What were some of the initial challenges? Who were the pioneers? What was being written in the tech news in the early days?

I encourage you to share your own memories or experiences with early computers and technology in Trinidad. Let us build a collective narrative while making the history relatable. My earliest memories are the bills from T&TEC that were punch cards. This was back in the eighties at my uncle's place in San Fernando. Who remembers the CCS Computer Store? I remember going in there to buy diskettes. My first gadget I owned was a Nintendo Game Boy that I won from Flavorite. I had to sell it shortly after for more important things.



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